New Delhi: Non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) play an important role in capital formation and the government will provide a one-time partial credit guarantee to PSBs to buy high-rated pooled assets of financially sound NBFCs, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in the Union Budget 2019-20 on Friday. NBFCs are playing an important role in sustaining consumption demand as well as capital formation in small and medium industrial segment, she said in her maiden Budget Speech in Parliament. “For purchase of high-rated pooled assets of financially sound NBFCs, amounting to a total of Rs 1 lakh crore during the current financial year, government will provide one time six months’ partial credit guarantee to public sector banks (PSBs) for first loss of up to 10 per cent,” Sitharaman said. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepAlso, even as NBFCs are regulated by the RBI, it has limited authority over the sector, therefore appropriate proposals for strengthening the regulatory authority of RBI over NBFCs are being placed in the Finance Bill, the minister said. However, she said NBFCs that are fundamentally sound should continue to get funding from banks and mutual funds without being unduly risk averse. The NBFC sector is currently undergoing a liquidity hurdle with a spate of defaults of companies such as IL&FS along with its group companies and DHFL that started unfolding since September 2018. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsAmong others, Sitharaman said the government will allow NBFCs to raise funds in public issues, and the requirement of creating a debenture redemption reserve (DRR), which is currently applicable for only public issues as private placements are exempt, will be done away with. As of now, NBFCs that do public placement of debt have to maintain a DRR and in addition, a special reserve as required by the RBI, has also to be maintained. “To bring more participants, especially NBFCs, not registered as NBFCs-Factor, on the TReDS platform, amendment in the Factoring Regulation Act, 2011 is necessary and steps will be taken to allow all NBFCs to directly participate on the TReDS platform,” she said. Sitharaman also said efficient and conducive regulation of the housing sector is important in India’s context. Currently, the National Housing Bank (NHB), besides being the refinancer and lender, is also regulator of the housing finance sector. “This gives a somewhat conflicting and difficult mandate to NHB. I am proposing to return the regulation authority over the housing finance sector from NHB to RBI. Necessary proposals have been placed in the Finance Bill,” the minister said.
HC quashes defamation proceedings against Ratan Tata othersHC quashes defamation proceedings against Ratan Tata others
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday quashed proceedings initiated by a local court against Tata Sons’ former chairman Ratan Tata, its current chairman N Chandrasekaran and eight directors of the firm in a criminal defamation case filed by Nusli Wadia. In December 2018, a magistrate court in the city issued notices to Ratan Tata and the others in the criminal defamation case filed by Wadia. Wadia filed the case in 2016 after he was voted out of the boards of some Tata Group companies. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Tata and others then approached the high court seeking to quash and set aside the proceedings initiated against them. A division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre on Monday quashed and set aside the proceedings. Senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Ratan Tata, earlier told the court that the defamation case was because of a fallout of a corporate dispute. He said the entire case was filed with complete non-application of mind. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday “The case is only a fallout of a corporate dispute between Ratan Tata and Nusli Wadia, who is a strong supporter of Cyrus Mistry,” Singhvi argued. Wadia, in his complaint before the magistrate, claimed that Tata and others made defamatory statements against him after they removed Cyrus Mistry on October 24, 2016 as the group chairman of Tata Sons. Wadia was on the board as an independent director of group companies like Indian Hotels Company, that runs the Taj group of hotels, TCS, Tata Motors and Tata Steel, among others. He was voted out by shareholders at a specially convened general meeting between December 2016 and February 2017. Wadia said he approached the magistrates court as he was not satisfied with the explanation given by the respondents (Tata and others) following his letters to them. He, therefore, initiated defamation proceedings against Tata and others under Indian Penal Code Section 500. Singhvi argued before the high court that what the complainant, Wadia, has termed as defamatory is wrong and not “defamatory per se”. “The November 2016 letters and minutes of the meeting circulated by Tata Sons to its group companies only sought for Wadia’s removal as he was acting against the company’s interest,” Singhvi said.
Darjeeling: Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (PNHZP) in Darjeeling, popular as Darjeeling Zoo, is rejoicing the birth of two red panda cubs.The two red panda cubs were born in a special facility at Tobgay Danra. Snow leopards and red pandas are bred in this non-display facility around 20 km from Darjeeling town. While one cub was born on June 23 the other was born on July 1. “The cubs are reportedly in good health but they have to be under observation for 3 months at least,” said Rajendra Jakhar, Director, Darjeeling Zoo. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is the coordinating zoo for the red panda breeding programme (Project Red Panda) in India. The project was initiated in 1990. The first red pandas for this programme had been brought in from various European zoos like Rotterdam, Madrid and Clone Zoo during the late 80’s and early 90’s. Since then there have been around 40 zoo- bred pandas at the PNHZP. The first success of the Project Red Panda came in 1994. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway “At present there are 13 female and 8 male red pandas at the PNHZP and the two newborn cubs,” stated the Director. The Zoo is also working towards releasing 4 captive bred red pandas in the Singhalila National Park September or October this year. The PNHZP was founded in 1958 and specialises in the captive breeding of endangered Himalayan species including Snow Leopard, Red Panda, Tibetan Wolf; Blue Sheep, Himalayan Tahr and Satyr Tragopan (crimson horned pheasant.)
Melbourne: Actor-producer Mindy Kaling has said that penning the comedy drama Late Night was a “satisfying” experience as she could connect with both the lead characters. The 40-year-old actor starred as a writer in the film who is hired mainly because she is an Indian-American in order to save the career of a seasoned late-night host, played by Emma Thompson. “The movie was so satisfying to write because I feel uniquely qualified in my life to write for both of those characters. I remember, vividly, what it’s like to be the only woman or minority in a writer’s room when I was 24 years old. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka”But I also remember, more recently, the frustration of being an employer, having Katherine’s opposition, and being a little complacent, a little bit bored with your job. You employ all these people but you’re not always on your best behaviour and I know that feeling well,” Kaling told news.com.au. The actor-scribe, who created and starred in The Mindy Project, said one would have to do the difficult job of getting women from culturally diverse backgrounds in the writer’s room to bring about a change. “For the longest time when I was on my own show, being a showrunner and the star was so time-consuming. At times it felt like being a mentor or taking the energy to look deeper than normal on what people were submitting for characters or writers is so time-consuming.”
Renewable unlikely to surpass coal as major source of power generation saysRenewable unlikely to surpass coal as major source of power generation says
Kolkata: Coal India Chairman Anil Kumar Jha on Wednesday said renewables are unlikely to surpass coal as the major source for power generation in the near future and asserted that India’s energy migration scenario will be different compared to many other countries. State-owned Coal India accounts for nearly 83 per cent of the country’s coal production. “The question is can renewables take over coal completely in our country? Not in the near future at least. It would not be an exaggeration to state that Coal India Ltd (CIL) is synonymous with India’s energy scenario,” Jha told shareholders at the company’s 45th annual general meeting here. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalHis remarks also come against the backdrop of increasing focus on renewable energy sources for generation of power in different parts of the world. Jha said the energy migration scenario in India would be “different”, compared to many other countries which have been switching to renewable sources. According to him, nine mining projects having a total capacity of 69.88 million tonnes per year have been sanctioned and the estimated cost is Rs 9,093 crore. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostBesides, two rail projects with an outlay of Rs 6,656 crore have been approved. For the first time, Coal India had breached the 600 million tonnes-mark in production as well as off-take of coal. The miner produced 606.89 million tonnes of coal and supplied 608.14 million tonnes of the dry fuel, representing growth of 6.97 per cent and 4.8 per cent, respectively, compared to the previous fiscal. During the meeting, a shareholder, however, said he was disappointed watching stock price heading towards a lifetime low of Rs 200 a piece, since the initial public offer nine years ago when the price was Rs 235 per scrip. There was chaos at the venue as security personnel prevented entry of media persons during early part of the meeting and they were later allowed after intervention of a senior official. Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi is expected to conduct a review meeting at the company’s head office on Thursday.
Not in race to pick stake in Coffee Day Enterprises ITCNot in race to pick stake in Coffee Day Enterprises ITC
New Delhi: Diversified group ITC on Wednesday denied that it was in the race to acquire Coffee Day Enterprises though it was approached for a deal. A report had said the Kolkata-based group having presence in cigarettes to hospitality and IT, is considering a bid to buy stake in the Coffee Day Enterprises that runs Cafe Coffee Day chain. When contacted, an ITC spokesperson said, “ITC receives enquiries from market participants on an ongoing basis which are suitably evaluated. One such enquiry was received from an intermediary on Cafe Coffee Day. However, no progress was made on the matter.” Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalDebt-laden Coffee Day Enterprises, whose promoter and former chairman and managing director V G Siddhartha had committed suicide in July, has also been linked with Coca Cola as the company seeks to reduce its liabilities. The Coffee Day Group had said it has a total debt of Rs 4,970 crore and it was looking at divesting assets to reduce it. Last week, the company had announced sale of its Global Village Tech Park in Bengaluru to Blackstone for up to Rs 3,000 crore to cut its debt. “On receipt of the consideration for the sale of Global Village after payment of required statutory payments, the debt position of Coffee Day Group will reduce around by Rs 2,400 crore,” it had said.
Weakening growth prompted RBI Guv to go for 35 bps rate cutWeakening growth prompted RBI Guv to go for 35 bps rate cut
Mumbai: Weakening of domestic growth impulses prompted RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das to opt for an unconventional rate cut of 35 basis points to push economic activities early this month, said the central bank on Wednesday. Two of his RBI colleagues and an independent member in the rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had also favoured a 35-basis point reduction, against the normal practice of 25 or 50 basis points change, in the third bi-monthly monetary policy of 2019-20. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe other two members, both independent, in the six-member MPC had voted for a 25-basis point cut in the policy announced on August 7. In an unusual move, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on August 7 had reduced the benchmark lending rate by 35 basis points to 5.40 per cent amid concerns over slowdown in economy. Before this, the RBI had reduced the rate thrice, each time by 25 basis points. “In view of weakening of domestic growth impulses and unsettled global macroeconomic environment, there is a need to bolster dwindling domestic demand and support investment activity, even as the impact of past three rate cuts is gradually working its way to the real economy,” said the governor, according to the minutes of the MPC released by the RBI on Wednesday. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe governor said that with headline inflation projected to remain within the target over the next one year, supporting domestic growth by further reducing interest rates needs to be given the utmost priority. Given the current and evolving inflation and growth scenario at this juncture, it can no longer be a business-as-usual approach, he added. “The economy needs a larger push. I am, therefore, of the view that a reduction in the policy repo rate by conventional 25 bps will be inadequate. On the other hand, a 50 bps rate cut might be excessive and indicate a knee-jerk reaction,” he said. According to the minutes, Das further said “hence, at times it is apposite” to calibrate the size of the conventional rate adjustment, and he voted for reducing the policy repo rate by 35 basis points and for continuing with the accommodative stance of monetary policy. MPC members Bibhu Prasad Kanungo (RBI Deputy Governor), Michael Debabrata Patra (RBI Executive Director) and Ravindra H Dholakia (independent member) also favoured a 35-basis point cut in repo rate. Chetan Ghate and Pami Dua voted for a 25-basis points reduction in the repo or the short-term lending rate. While the RBI has lowered the repo rate by 1.1 percentage points in 2019, the banks are yet to pass on the entire benefit of lower interest rate to borrowers. Governor Das recently asked all banks to link their interest rate with repo for faster transmission of the central bank’s policy actions.
India Ratings downgrades Yes Bank outlook negativeIndia Ratings downgrades Yes Bank outlook negative
Mumbai: Private sector lender Yes Bank on Saturday said India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has downgraded its long-term issuer rating to ‘IND A+’. “India Ratings and Research has downgraded Yes Bank Ltd’s long-term issuer rating to ‘IND A+’ from ‘IND AA-,” the bank said in a BSE filing. “The outlook is negative. The agency has affirmed the bank’s short-term issuer rating at ‘IND A1+’,” it added. According to Ind-Ra, ‘IND AA’ rating signifies “high degree of safety” regarding timely servicing of financial obligations, while instruments rated ‘IND A’ have “adequate degree of safety”.
Liverpool begin Champions League defence with Napoli defeatLiverpool begin Champions League defence with Napoli defeat
Naples: Dries Mertens and Fernando Llorente scored late as holders Liverpool fell 2-0 at Napoli in the opening match of their Champions League title defence. Mertens converted a penalty on 82 minutes and Llorente added a second in stoppage time as Napoli gained a measure of revenge for last season’s 1-0 defeat at Anfield that denied the Italians a spot in the knockout rounds. The loss for Jurgen Klopp’s side makes them first reigning European champions to lose their opening game of the following campaign since AC Milan in 1994. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh However Liverpool, who sit top of the Premier League after five straight wins, remain favourites alongside Napoli to progress from Group E despite Salzburg’s thrilling 6-2 win over Genk. “Give us a few more games to change the table, but it looks like Napoli are through,” said Klopp, who tipped the Italians to go far. “Napoli can win the competition. If you have a good plan and good players, you don’t have to be the best team in the world to win the Champions League. You have to perform at the right moment.” Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later Liverpool also lost their group-stage match in Naples last season before going on to lift a sixth European Cup. “Being able to match Liverpool is impressive as they are the best team in Europe at the moment,” said Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti. But the three-time Champions League winning coach warned: “The season is long, there is still a long road ahead.” Goalscorer Llorente joined Napoli this season after playing his last game for former club Tottenham in the Champions League final defeat to Liverpool in Madrid in June. He came on as a substitute and pounced on a rare Virgil van Dijk blunder after Mertens had opened the scoring from the spot to cause pandemonium among the crowd at the fiery Stadio San Paolo. After two difficult opening matches in Serie A with seven goals conceded, Ancelotti’s side seem to have clicked into gear. Napoli defenders Kalidou Kouilbaly and Mario Rui neutralised the threat of Egyptian star Mohamed Salah and Senegal’s Sadio Mane. – ‘Curious, unusual goals’ – Ancelotti praised his side for their “very orderly and compact” performance. “It wasn’t all perfect tonight,” the former Chelsea and AC Milan manager. “It was a very evenly balanced game. Liverpool played better than last season. “But I like the way we defended with the basics when it was still 0-0 and that’s what allowed us to have those late chances. “And when everything seemed lost, when Liverpool were in control, the team took advantage of two goals which came in curious and unusual circumstances.” Fabian Ruiz was twice denied early by Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian, who also pulled off an impressive one-handed save on Mertens after 49 minutes. For Liverpool, Salah and Mane had threatened before Firmino missed a chance to open the scoring just before half-time when his header flashed wide and Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret’s fingertip save at full stretch denied Salah on 65 minutes. The breakthrough came eight minutes from time after Jose Callejon went down easily in the box under pressure from Andy Robertson, with Mertens slotting in the penalty, awarded without consultation of VAR. Llorente then pounced on Van Dijk’s loose pass to claim his first Napoli goal, sealing a famous win for the hosts. “You want to have at least a point and we didn’t get that because of the penalty,” said Klopp. “When the player jumps before there is contact it cannot be a penalty. We cannot change that any more, so now we carry on. That’s it.”
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil drops writ for May 30 electionNova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil drops writ for May 30 election
HALIFAX – Nova Scotians will go to the polls May 30 as Premier Stephen McNeil’s Liberal government seeks its second mandate following a term in office largely marked by frugal spending and public sector labour strife.McNeil kicked off the campaign Sunday with a rally at a Lebanese cultural centre in the heart of a key Halifax riding, shortly after meeting with Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant at Government House.In a speech before a packed room of enthusiastic supporters and party workers, McNeil acknowledged his government had made some unpopular decisions since being elected in 2013.“We had to make tough choices, choices that weren’t always popular,” said McNeil. “I believe you either shape change or change shapes you. We had to shape our own change.”At dissolution the Liberals held 34 seats in the 51-seat legislature, the Progressive Conservatives had 10 and the NDP 5. There was one Independent and one seat was vacant.The election follows nearly two months of election-style spending announcements by the Liberals, and a budget tabled Thursday offering a broad, though modest tax cut to about 500,000 low and middle income Nova Scotians.It was the second consecutive balanced budget for the Liberals. The government has exercised strict wage restraint for public sector unions, including nurses and teachers, while making a series of cuts to programs affecting areas such as seniors’ long-term care and initiatives run by public service organizations.“Thanks to our choices the province is in better shape than it was three and a half years ago,” McNeil told the crowd.He also took shots at his campaign opponents, accusing the Tories of being “negative about the province’s future” and saying the NDP were ready to “write a blank cheque to big labour.”The government’s budget died with the election call, leaving McNeil to explain to reporters why it wasn’t voted on in the legislature before the writ was dropped. He said it’s a matter of letting the public decide.“I’m not presumptuous enough to believe that all of them (the public) agree with my vision,” McNeil said. “So let me present my vision to them, we will let the other two parties present their vision, and then Nova Scotians will decide.”McNeil also made no apologies for his government or its policies.“There will be some who obviously in the last three-and-a-half years have not been happy with us, he said. “I am not running from the record.”Tory Leader Jamie Baillie pitched himself Sunday as a sunny alternative to four years of Liberal austerity, which he said has hurt Nova Scotia’s rural communities, allowed infrastructure to crumble and sent doctors and young people away from the province in “droves.”“(Nova Scotians) will have to decide if they want to invest and jobs and in their communities, or if they want more McNeil cuts,” said Baillie, surrounded by Tory candidates. “Only the Progressive Conservative party has the plan to allow Nova Scotians to stand proudly on their own two feet once again.”Baillie said the premier’s heavy hand in dealing with public sector unions has resonated through the province, and said if elected, he would push for a “middle way” that would keep wages at roughly current levels but increase investment in public services.Baillie’s speech was replete with promises of prosperity, but when pressed for specifics, the Tory leader often pivoted back to attacking McNeil.Baillie has been sounding confident that his party, which hasn’t won an election since 2006, is poised for an electoral breakthrough. That’s critical for Baillie, who is leading the party through his second campaign — and may not get a third opportunity if expectations aren’t realized.Baillie has painted the provincial race as a referendum on McNeil. He said the Tories will release a party platform “very soon.”NDP Leader Gary Burrill told dozens of supporters at a west-end cafe Sunday that an NDP government would prioritize “investments in our people” over a balanced budget to tackle issues like hunger, access to education and hospital overcrowding.“All the evidence is that the McNeil Liberals are not the objects of anyone’s affection in Nova Scotia at the moment,” Burrill told reporters. “I think that the door has opened to any possibility now with the announcement of the election and we’ll see what happens in the next month.”Burrill said he’s putting “every ounce of energy” into his own race in the Halifax-Chebucto riding, having won his party’s leadership race last year without a seat in the provincial legislature.He aims to revive the fortunes of a party that had a dramatic fall from grace in 2013, when it was swept from government by the Liberals.The election call comes after spring polling that indicated the Liberals had fallen in popularity, although they were still in majority territory as of March, according to Cape Breton University professor David Johnson.Decided voter support for the Liberal party dropped from 56 per cent to 44 per cent, according to a survey of 1,210 adults conducted by Halifax-based Corporate Research Associates Inc. The Progressive Conservatives stood at 28 per cent, up eight points, and the New Democrats were at 23 per cent, up from 19 per cent, while five per cent supported the Green Party.“They are pretty much back to where they were in 2013,” Johnson said in an interview last month. “Forty-four per cent will win them a strong, healthy majority government if that number hold up during the election campaign.”Johnson said the key would be holding onto ridings in metro Halifax.“The Liberals dominate metro (currently) and whomever dominates metro, that’s the pathway into a majority government,” he said.— With files from Adina Bresge and Kieran Leavitt
From Gander to Broadway The journey of Canadian hit musical Come FromFrom Gander to Broadway The journey of Canadian hit musical Come From
OAKVILLE, Ont. – As a theatre producer in Toronto, Michael Rubinoff was always on the lookout for stories that would translate into musicals. He found unexpected inspiration in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.The remote East Coast town of Gander, N.L., saw its population double in size as it provided refuge to 6,579 passengers and crew members from 38 planes after U.S. airspace was closed. Reports about the hospitality shown by the people in Gander and surrounding communities immediately struck a chord.“Every time I saw one of these stories, I just got very emotional. I felt so proud to consider myself a Canadian alongside these incredible Newfoundlanders,” Rubinoff recalled.“As I learned more about the stories out there, (in) Newfoundland the way they tell stories are through music. Music is so much a part of their DNA and who they are. I really believed there was a compelling story and a compelling reason to musical-ize it.”Rubinoff’s idea would eventually lead to the unlikely success story “Come From Away,” the feel-good musical that’s up for seven Tony Awards on Sunday, including best musical.But finding the writers to tell the story was a challenge.“I went to a number of people who didn’t share my enthusiasm, I think because of the subject matter and the backdrop of that day, people didn’t see how this was possible. I’m so grateful my paths crossed with David Hein and Irene Sankoff.”Rubinoff was sold on the husband-and-wife duo after seeing their acclaimed show “My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding,” based on real-life events in Hein’s life.“I remember within 10 minutes turning to the person I came with … and said: ‘This is incredible.’ I was so impressed by the authenticity of telling a true story.”Rubinoff sent a Facebook message to the couple and met them for dinner a few weeks later, where he told them about wanting to find someone to write the musical about the events in Gander. They were on-board.Rubinoff was in the midst of taking up his role as associate dean of visual and performing arts at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont., which would ultimately serve as a key stop in the musical’s storybook journey from Newfoundland and Labrador to Broadway.One of Rubinoff’s strategic objectives at the school was to launch the Canadian Music Theatre Project (CMTP) and he committed to Sankoff and Hein that the Gander musical would be among the first shows Sheridan would produce.Rubinoff also wrote a letter in support of a Canada Council grant to get the couple to Gander for the 10th anniversary of 9/11, where they got to experience the warm welcome Newfoundlanders had extended to the stranded passengers and crew in 2001.“We would check in every couple of days and they would say, ‘Oh, we just moved out the hotel —someone gave us their house and said take care of the cats,’” he recalled.“They were being the recipients of this outpouring of kindness and they came back with stacks and stacks and stacks of interviews and materials and stories, and set about this challenge of how to tell 9,000 stories of the locals and 7,000 stories of the people that showed up on 38 planes.”The working title of the show was originally “Gander,” but after Sankoff and Hein returned from their time there they felt the moniker wasn’t the right fit.“They didn’t want to call it ‘Gander’ because there were a number of communities involved. Lewisporte, Appleton, Norris Arm, Gambo, Glenwood, they all played a very significant role,” Rubinoff said.“They were exposed to the term ‘come from away’ (about out-of-towners) and how the plane people were called ‘come from aways.’”The name stuck.In the spring of 2012, Rubinoff paired the duo with a cast of Sheridan students and brought in a director and musical director. The goal was to produce 45 minutes of the show in five weeks.“I usually like to come in at the rehearsal at the end of the first week … and I’ll never forget hearing the opening number ‘Welcome to the Rock’ and that refrain: ‘I’m an islander, I’m an islander,’ and (thinking) ‘Wow! This is grabbing my heart in the same way the story did initially.’”Rubinoff decided to house the initial performances of the show in the rehearsal hall to lower expectations for the fledgling musical.“I think on the first night, I put out 35 chairs. On the second night, 45. And then 60. And on the next night, 75 — and we could not fit any more people in this room,” he recalled.“People were just grabbed by what they had created. The emotional heart, the structure of the show was beginning to be built, and it was really, really compelling.”Sheridan graduate Adrian Zeyl was cast in several roles including the story’s bartender, rabbi, and Doug, the air traffic controller.Although it’s now a 100-minute show with no intermission, Zeyl recalled the emotional wallop delivered at the end of Act 1 during the musical’s early days.“We had no idea what we were getting into; we just knew the title of the show, basically, and we all left just crying at the end of just the first act,” Zeyl recalled. “I remember speaking to the writers and just gushing about it and (saying) ‘Just please, please, please continue what you’re doing…. We knew it was going somewhere. I don’t think anyone (could) say, ‘This will have seven Tony nominations.’ Obviously, it was beautiful work.”Rubinoff encouraged Sankoff and Hein to keep working on “Come From Away,” which was programmed as a developmental production at Sheridan in early 2013.The show was then submitted for consideration to the Festival of New Musicals, organized by the New York-based National Alliance for Musical Theatre. It was the same festival where Canadian musical “The Drowsy Chaperone” also found its commercial producers. “The Drowsy Chaperone” went on to pick up 13 Tony nominations, including a nod for best musical, and won five awards including best book of a musical and best original score.“Come From Away” was among eight shows that made the cut. In October 2013, a 45-minute showcase was staged for an invite-only crowd of producers, regional theatres and academic institutions that create new musicals.“People just reacted so emotionally,” said Rubinoff. “I think there were people who felt ‘I don’t know what this is, I don’t know if I want to see this, I don’t know if I’m ready to see this’ — and there was again just an outpouring of gratitude.”Sankoff and Hein opted to partner with Tony-winning Junkyard Dog Productions as lead producers on “Come From Away.” Their behind-the-scenes team — including Tony-nominated director Christopher Ashley — began to take shape.The musical would eventually be staged in La Jolla, Calif., Seattle, Washington, D.C. and Toronto before its current award-winning run on Broadway. But Rubinoff still sees a slice of Sheridan on whichever stage “Come From Away” is playing.“When I do see the show, I do think of our students, I do think of those moments, the creation, the genesis. It’s really beautiful to see that.”— Follow @lauren_larose on Twitter.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version misstated the number of airline passengers and crew members who were diverted to Gander, N.L.
Large gathering for Tragically Hip singalong tribute to Gord Downie in TorontoLarge gathering for Tragically Hip singalong tribute to Gord Downie in Toronto
TORONTO – Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman wanted to pay tribute to Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie after learning of his death last week.And so the directors of Choir! Choir! Choir!, a Toronto-based singalong collective, invited fans to Nathan Phillips Square on Tuesday night to honour Downie the best way they could — through his music.“When we lose some of the great ones, if we can provide a space where people can come together and share the music and feel connected in a difficult time, then we’ll do it,” Adilman said. “It just felt like the right thing to do and I feel like these tributes are happening all over the country and big or small, they all matter.”Downie died last Tuesday at age 53. Nearly two years ago, he was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an invasive brain tumour with one of the poorest survival rates of any cancer.More than a thousand people gathered to sing about a dozen songs from the Hip as their tribute to the legendary Canadian band.People braved the brisk, windy, 10 C weather to belt out songs such as “Wheat Kings,” “Bobcaygeon” and “Courage.” Downie’s “The Stranger,” off his solo album “Secret Path,” was also played.People arrived clad in stylish suit jackets and hats similar to the ones Downie wore on the Hip’s “Man Machine Poem” tour in 2016. There were also fans sporting hockey jerseys bearing the Hip’s name.Parents put kids on their shoulders so they could get a better view, while others lit candles in honour of the late musician.Downie’s older brother, Mike, made an appearance on stage near the end of the set to thank those in attendance, which was met with a rousing applause from the crowd.“I have to say that over the last week, the outpouring of emotion, grief and love has been overwhelming,” Mike said. “And my family and I have felt it and it’s made things easier and it’s made things harder.“Made it easier because you showed how much you loved our brother and harder because we realized how many people were hurting and how many people were really affected by this.”Mike Downie also took the opportunity to talk about the “Secret Path” project, on which he collaborated with his brother. Choir! Choir! Choir! had asked that those in attendance to make a minimum donation of $5 to the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund.Mike said that “it’s up to all of us” to help the reconciliation efforts.“I don’t think the government can fix it, I don’t think there’s a program big enough to fix it, I think it’s going to take everybody doing their part,” he said.“We think we’re a young country, but we’re not. We think we’re 150 years old, but we’re not. If we tried a little harder, if we brought in the Indigenous people that have been here for 12,000 years, we could be something so much different. And we would be better for it and I think we would be the envy of the world.”Choir! Choir! Choir! capped off the show with some audience members onstage to sing “Ahead by a Century.”“Gord Downie has meant so much to this country, he’s given so much and we just wanted to celebrate him and his music,” Adilman said.—Follow @RyanBMcKenna on Twitter
New Brunswick couple identified as pair found dead in Rocky MountainsNew Brunswick couple identified as pair found dead in Rocky Mountains
LAKE LOUISE, Alta. – A couple from Saint John, N.B., have been identified as the two people found dead this week in the Rocky Mountains — police say the woman was murdered while the man’s death is not considered criminal.Cindy McCormick was a dentist who had a practice in the province for more than 15 years.“Dr. McCormick was full of life, and very engaged in dentistry at the regional, provincial and national levels,” New Brunswick Dental Society president Dr. Bob Hateway said in a statement.Her partner, Bobby Kaine, 52, was a firefighter in the city. The Saint John Fire Department also issued a statement and extended condolences to both families, saying they are “shocked and saddened” by the news of their deaths.McCormick’s body was found Sunday in a hotel room at the posh Chateau Lake Louise in the mountain resort community. Kaine’s body was found in a vehicle west of Lake Louise across the boundary in British Columbia.“Our investigators have gathered evidence between that scene and the scene in Golden that satisfies our investigative team that those two deaths are related, and we are not seeking any additional suspects,” said RCMP Cpl. Curtis Peters.(CTV Calgary)
Electric cars will be cheaper than gas models but Canada lags inElectric cars will be cheaper than gas models but Canada lags in
OTTAWA – A Canadian energy think tank says the world is less than a decade away from the tipping point at which electric cars will cost the same as conventional gas-powered vehicles.But in a report released Thursday, Clean Energy Canada says this country is lagging on the government polices that elsewhere are helping spur consumers to adopt the new technology despite reservations about everything from price to reliability to the distance they can travel on a single charge.“The only way we will get to a point where an electric car is an equivalent or cheaper price than a gas car is if we can achieve a certain scale of production and to achieve that production we need to do more to make it easier for consumers to choose electric vehicles,” said Dan Woynillowicz, policy director at the think tank.Canada also doesn’t produce any mass-market electric vehicles, fewer than half of Canadian dealerships of car makers that have electric vehicle models even sell them and supply is so limited here it can take months for a Canadian who wants an electric vehicle to actually drive it off the lot.The waiting list to get a Chevy Bolt, the most popular electric vehicle sold in Canada, is about eight months. While there are 97 electric vehicle models available worldwide, only 27 of them are sold in Canada, and most dealers don’t even have a single model on site so people can test drive it, said Woynillowicz.Cutting emissions from cars is a big part of Canada’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet its international commitments. Road transportation is currently responsible for about one-fifth of all of Canada’s emissions.Transport Minister Marc Garneau plans to release a national zero-emission vehicle strategy in 2018 to help increase the number of sales. Canada is currently one of only two G7 nations without such a strategy.Norway, which leads the world in electric vehicles, with almost 30 per cent of cars sold there being electric, plans to bar the sale of combustion-engine vehicles in 2025 and already doesn’t charge any taxes on the sale of electric cars.In Canada, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia offer cash rebates for buying electric vehicles; 97 per cent of electric car sales in Canada are in those provinces, compared to about 90 per cent of all new car sales.Quebec is to launch a policy in 2018 requiring dealers to sell a certain percentage of electric cars.Despite that, sales in Canada are barely a blip, representing about one in every 100 new cars sold.According to FleetCarma, an Ontario-based tech company helping to enable the adoption of electric vehicles, September was a record-setting month for electric car sales in Canada.That month’s total EV sales? Just 2,240 cars, out of a total of 186,800 cars sold.Clean Energy Canada says electric vehicles represent a number of economic opportunities for Canada, including for auto parts manufacturers and the mining sector, spurred on by demand for the minerals and metals needed to make the lithium-ion batteries.If Canada doesn’t jump on board more quickly, the rest of the world is going to snap up those opportunities and we’ll lose out, says the report.In addition to addressing price gaps, a national strategy could also make policy recommendations or provide funding for additional charging networks, and encourage municipalities and provinces to break down barriers for people to charge their cars at home and at work.Anxiety that electric cars can’t get far on a single charge, won’t work for long distances or are unreliable are among the biggest barriers for consumers. There have also been reports of condo dwellers or apartment renters being unable to charge their vehicles.Ontario’s new building code standards, as of January 1, will require any new condo building to include an electric car charger for at least 20 per cent of onsite parking, and the rest will have to be equipped so the chargers can be installed later. But that will not affect existing buildings.
SCOC ruling nod toward importance of diversity in law lawyerSCOC ruling nod toward importance of diversity in law lawyer
OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – In a landmark ruling the Supreme Court of Canada has decided law societies in Ontario and British Columbia are entitled to deny accreditation to the proposed law school at Trinity Western University on an equal access argument.The country’s top court ruled that limits on religious rights are reasonable in order to protect the rights of LGBTQ2 Canadians.The much-watched case pitted two significant societal values — freedom of religion and promotion of equality — against one another.LGBTQ2 groups are applauding the ruling, but say there is still a lot of work to do to achieve equality.Associate law professor Emma Cunliffe at UBC believes the high court ruling is a recognition that access to justice is improved when lawyers come from as many walks of life as possible, and represent as many kinds of people as possible.“The decision today represents an attempt on the part of the Supreme Court of Canada to promote diversity within the legal profession.”Cunliffe says the Supreme Court found that law societies have a legitimate interest in promoting equality in the legal profession.Meantime, others are not as pleased with the decision.“It does look like religious freedom can be restricted by equality rights,” Janet Epp Buckingham, a professor at Trinity Western, said following the ruling.Trinity Western University reacting to Supreme Court decision. Disappointed with the ruling, haven’t decided next steps #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/PGnOZWGrEF— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) June 15, 2018Students were asked to sign a covenant which requires them to abstain from sex outside a heterosexual marriage. The court found that to be discriminatory.So what’s next for Trinity Western’s law school? TWU Executive Director Earl Phillips says it will take time to go through the 200 page decision.He says the core of the school’s community covenant is about the dignity and worth of every human being — and that will not change. However, he adds it will be looked at.“We’ve reviewed the community covenant in the past, we will review it again in the future. And with this decision, it’s something we’re going to be reflecting on.”Phillips believes the Supreme Court’s decision actually signals a loss of support for diversity.“Diversity will only be our strength if we actually do allow for difference. Diversity has to allow for difference,” he explains.He adds he’s disappointed the Court doesn’t see room for a small Christian university that holds traditional values to open a law school.